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Let's Talk Voice and Data!

When Should MSPs Be Talking to Clients About HPBX?

Tim May on 09/20/2017

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Whether you’re partnering with an HPBX provider, or you’re considering doing so, chances are good Hosted PBX is going to come up as a topic with your clients at some point. Even though many MSPs aren’t “phone people,” in today’s ever expanding IP space, clients are expecting more. That includes voice services. So when, exactly, should an MSP talk to a client about voice services?

  1. When the Client Asks
    This may seem obvious enough, but all too often clients ask their MSP only to discover their MSP has no idea.

    While many MSPs have begun realizing the importance of at least understanding VoIP, there are equally as many who have yet to embrace the voice side of the business because it’s not their forte. Left to their own devices, clients will educate themselves and start making decisions regarding voice. These decisions can often lead to problems on the network if not properly architected. These issues will have a direct (and negative impact) on the MSP supporting that network.

    If you haven’t yet, begin embracing the idea of adding voice services to your offerings. That way, when a client inquires, you have a solution at the ready.

  2. When Carrier Agreements are up for Renewal
    One of the biggest mistakes MSPs make is ignoring services outside of their current business focus. Carrier agreements and carrier services should be a primary area of concern for every MSP. The reason? As contracts age, carrier reps will be calling on your clients to renew those services.

    The carrier rep will be all too eager to share with your client that, in addition to their current service, they can now offer VoIP, SIP, and even managed services. They’ll pitch a one-stop-shop to your client. Then when your client cancels, you’ll wish you would have thought to address the issue in advance. Had you known the call would be coming, you could have advised your client in advance what some of their current options might be. You may have also suggested allowing you to speak with the carrier as you know the technical terms and products they might likely suggest. Lastly, knowing when carrier agreements are up for renewal might offer you the opportunity to move them to a different carrier and earn commission on your client’s carrier services.

  3. When Their Current Phone System Starts Dying
    Another obvious time, but one often overlooked simply because MSPs aren’t conditioned to look at the voice side of the house. Adding a phone system checkup to your list of standard services is a great way to stay ahead of a carrier or competitor getting a foot in the door to pitch your client on voice services.

    Old phone systems tend to break down gradually. Handset failure is high on the list of the first things to go. Also, the average digital PBX system has a lifespan of 6-12 years. Knowing when the system was installed will give you a leg up when it comes to replacing that aging equipment.

  4. When They’re Looking to Reduce IT Costs
    This may seem counterintuitive, but when analyzing IT spend, consider adding the client’s voice services into the equation. You may be able to combine voice and data services, add bandwidth, move the phone system to the cloud, and save the client a significant amount of money.

    Carrier services can be surprisingly expensive as can moves, adds, and changes on the existing system.

  5. When a Competitor Proposes It
    Lastly, this is the most frequent and important time MSPs talk to clients about voice. Unfortunately, because the competitor got their first, it forces you to compete against them rather than providing the best solution as you normally would.

    Your client will see the low prices being offered by the competitor. Once that figure is in their mind, it will be an uphill battle and a lot of time and energy spent on your part trying to convince them why it’s an inadequate solution.

Stay ahead of your competition by partnering with a premier VoIP provider. A great provider will be able to educate you and assist you in providing the best solutions to your clients. They’ll also work with you to keep your competitors out and will offer aggressive commission plans. N2Net knows VoIP and knows how to help MSP’s thrive offering voice services.

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Topics: hosted PBX, MSP

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